The stories of most rape victims play out like the myth of Sisyphus in Greek mythology.
A woman is sexually assaulted by a friend or a relative, the pain and hurt follows, the fear of reporting it to friends and family sets in, the doubting inquiries of some amplifies the pain and the lack of a clearly defined justice apparatus propels the victims to start rolling a huge boulder up a steep hill alone.
They remembered the precise moment, the shock when the attack began, the horror of losing the fight and having to give in, the pain, his breath, their pleas for him to stop, the agony of waiting for him to finish the attack, the tears, crouching into a fetal position when it ends and the crumbling which follows when he finally leaves.
When the men who assaulted them walked away with barely a slap on the wrist, they learned a heartbreaking lesson; the only way they were going to see justice for the wrongs done to them was to find it themselves.
The sexual assault stories of two of my three friends happened a long time ago but one principle of the past never applies to them; the principle of a wound healing with time. They have tried to bury the painful memories but the past always claws its way out.
I did not go in search of accounts of sexual assault from these three close friends of mine. They shared their stories with me following a Facebook post I put up after one of them told me about an attempted sexual assault on her.
As they shared their painful experiences with me, I could not help but ask if they will allow me to share their whispers with an audience.
Perhaps, their whispers may change the heart of a future rapist and save a victim or two. Perhaps the whispers may reach the lawmakers with the power to bring about change.
Here are their (alleged) stories in their own words. Their identities are hidden for obvious reasons and the names I used are fake. (The chat wallpaper is Lauren Hill if you were wondering)
Today, I chose not to present my words; I chose to present the whispers of the victims whose abusers are walking free among us.
Ama – Assault on Knust campus
Esi – Assault on Legon Campus
Adjoa – Assault by a Police Officer
If men were being sexually assaulted every day in a patriarchal society, how will the laws against rape and the punishment for the women who perpetrate this crime look like?
Will we have trained sexual assault detectives, healthcare professionals, rape counselors and rape kits readily available to handle the menace of sexual assault?
Men can stop rape. Men need to stand up, speak up, support and protect our Queens. The rape culture is a man problem that needs men to speak up.
Politicians and Lawmakers can stop rape. They need to stand up, speak up on violence against women and enact laws to address the issue.
For now, all the victims have are whispers. Let’s help them whisper.
NO means NO!
By Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.